Bible Readings for November 19th
Thus far, the author of 1 Chronicles has not only reviewed the entire history of the people of Israel, but he has also reshaped it around the person of David—not to exalt David himself, but to point forward to the coming of a new David. We looked yesterday at the way this new David would be a new kind of military leader, and today we will begin to look at the way this new David will reform Israel’s worship.
At the beginning of 1 Chronicles 13, David consults with all his leaders, saying to the assembly, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul” (1 Chron. 13:2–3). Essentially, David is here establishing a special feast for all the people of Israel. The law of Moses commanded that the men of Israel should appear before Yahweh three times a year for specific feasts (Ex. 34:23; Deut. 16:16), but David now adds a new feast and calls all Israel together. David here acts as a new lawgiver.
But while acting as a new lawgiver is remarkable in itself, the following verse is even more surprising: “All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people” (1 Chron. 13:4). Recall the theme verse from Judges: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25). The judges had utterly failed to reform Yahweh’s people from their idolatry, but here, under the leadership of David, it is the true worship of Yahweh that is right in the eyes of the people.
Now, Chronicles has already acknowledged that the reforms of the first David will not last and that Judah will eventually go into exile in Babylon (1 Chron. 9:1). Therefore, this depiction of David once again points forward to what only the new David will be able to do—he alone will act as the new lawgiver to fulfill in himself the old system of worship and to install, in its place, pure worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). And still today, as we gather together week after week in worship, we look forward to the day when we will be gathered together to the great Son of David once and for all. Then, our eyes will be made forever right in our resurrected bodies so that we will seek nothing but God himself for all eternity. O Lord, haste the day!
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.